After scrambling all over the internet to find a template to fit this essay into, I realise that doing so would totally just eradicate the “personal” part of a personal statement. I figured that if I really wanted my personal statement to have a striking difference from others, I should write what you have not seen before.
Growing up, I always wanted to be someone that everyone knew. I remember seeing actors and actresses on the television and aspiring to be them. I wanted to be someone that people could look up to and I wanted to be able to be an inspiration for others. Obviously, this varied throughout the years as it usually does for most kids. I went from wanting to be an actress to a vet, a zookeeper to a hairdresser – this one specifically did not meet resounding positive reviews from my parents. That’s not even all of it. I wanted to be so many things. All the way from a teacher to an architect. As of right now, I honestly do not really know what I want to be anymore. It just seems so much easier to know what you want when you’re a child because you tend to believe that everything is possible after having fairytale after fairytale having indoctrinated into your head. As I write this essay, it is evident that growing up there was one thing that stayed the same about my aspirations. All I wanted was to help, whether that be helping people or animals through various career paths.
With such aspirations in life, you need certain strengths. Some of which I believe I honestly feel as though I have and others in which I know I could improve on. For as long as I can remember, I have always been rather open-minded when it comes to ideas from others. I believe that good cooperation and communication with peers is a surefire way to succeed in something. I believe I am also generous, sometimes too generous for my own good. In my younger years, I remember I sacrificed a lot for my friends in not only physical terms but emotional terms too. I also work well under pressure. There is just something about long periods of time of doing something where my mind could change at any moment and I would have to completely restart whatever it is I am doing, I would much rather just go straight for it.
Obviously, at this stage in life, I do not completely know myself as well as I did 4 years ago. Many things have changed about me. I went from being completely unaware of political issues in the world today to having a loud opinion about it. I remember driving my father off the wall as I went off on a tangent about gun control laws in America. I have also realised how important it is to find real friends. In previous schools, I made many fun friends who I liked so much that I practically idolised at one point. A lot of the time, I idolised them so much I would let them step all over me and use me. That was what I thought friendship was. In hindsight, it’s clear that is a sign of an extremely toxic relationship. Friendship is supposed to be about mutual respect and support for each other and I had never known that until recently.
I feel it is the environment that I grew up in that made me so enthusiastic about politics and helping people who faced injustices because of certain laws. Like mentioned earlier, I am very open-minded. I believe this stems from my parents never being very religious, hence I did not have to abide by certain rules most Christian households have. Not just that, being half-British and half-Filipino, I am able to see the world from both sides. One is a lot more of a developed country than the other. Another factor is also the popularity and accessibility of social media. Through social media, you can see the opinion of someone from the other side of the world in seconds. Social media is full of diverse people with a variety of different opinions that could very well affect your own. With the number of political discussions on numerous social media platforms, it is impossible to stay consistently neutral about politics as someone my age.
It is through these influences that I realised my aspiration in life. To help people and to be known for helping them. I always tell people that I want to be significant in this world and that I do not want to die with nobody knowing who I was and what I stood for. I want to specifically be known for helping people. It does not have to be physical but it can be emotional too. All I want to do is to be able to put a smile on someone’s face no matter what job I have. I still remember what started my journey in terms of this aspiration. It was back in primary school, in which my school started this activity every Thursday called, “Gratitude Thursday” It was basically a day where you take a few minutes to write a letter to anyone and tell them what you are grateful for about them. I loved seeing people have a smile spread across their face as they read their individual letters and it was when I realised, at the end of the day, I just want to be able to at least make one person smile.
Being quite a broad aspiration, I can achieve it in many ways. One instance being participating in charity and other organisations. I always tell my friends that once I am older I am eventually going to go broke with how much money I will spend to help others. There are many charities I support (The Trevor Project, the Brady campaign, etc) and if I were given a million dollars, I would not know where to start. I can also achieve it through being more involved in the arts scene. I always hear about people claiming a certain film, show or piece of literature has helped them through tough times and I want to be able to be that artist, actress or writer that supported them through my art form.
I have not done a lot so far to reach for aspirations, due to lack of opportunity which lead to a lack of motivation. However, after moving to UWCSEA, I realise the large array of opportunity before me. The reach for aspirations can start as early as joining a service and maybe let it lead up to something even bigger than just a service. Though I have not done a lot, I have at least done a couple things to cater to my future goals. One being an event my mum and I have started back in the Philippines. My grandmother lives in the province of Philippines in which many people are known to be less fortunate. So, every Christmas, my mum and I make small goody bags with food, toys, and amenities and give them to the children of my Grandmother’s village. Even when my mother and I are not home for Christmas, my Grandmother helps organise it in my name, this way, it stays sustainable. Maybe this could lead to something bigger one day.
I am definitely still unaware of a lot of things about myself. That being a given when you are in your teenage years, full of growth and confusion about said growth. It is so bad that I don’t even know my favorite color. However, there is one thing that I unquestionably know. All I want to do and will do is to make people smile no matter what.